Two years after their masterpiece "Beyond The Crimson Horizon" the Texans of SOLITUDE AETURNUS are presenting us with another album, "Through The Darkest Hour" the title. And again the question arose, could those guys maintain the almost incredible standard or would the third album spell a decline...
Well, they have not fully reached "Beyond The Crimson Horizon", but that is no shame, because the song-material of "Through The Darkest Hour" still looms high over almost all comparable releases. What is apparent, the album is a good bit doomier than the first two offerings, there are less faster passages, but the rest has stayed the same, why should SOLITUDE AETURNUS stray from their very own style?
The opener "Falling" offers us Power Doom of purest quality, as only CANDLEMASS in their heyday and maybe MEMORY GARDEN are able to perform. Wide melody-arches and the emotive, characteristic voice of Robert Lowe identify each song unmistakable as SOLITUDE AETURNUS and also are guarantors for highest quality, which also is well documented in the following "Haunting The Obscure", which features some double-bass within the slow-paced rhythm.
A whole lot doomier and slower than is "The 8th Day: The Mourning", maybe the slowest and most intense piece the Texans have created until then and after that "The 9th Day: Awakening" excels with some oriental veins and an absolutely irresistible chorus, brilliant, before "Pain" almost is progressive, with some rhythm- and timing-changes...
The next three songs "Pawns Of Anger", "Eternal (Dreams Part II)" and "Perfect Insanity" are a (lyrically completely independent) Doom-trilogy, powerful, intense and above all slow ("Eternal (Dreams Part II)" has to be mentioned here, pure slow-motion), before "Shattered My Spirit" could almost be called a Doom-ballad, with acoustic guitars at the beginning and the end, with a great atmosphere!
So SOLITUDE AETURNUS never had been so "Doom" as on "Through The Darkest Hour", but this also is the fascination and appeal that this album holds. Like said at the beginning, doesn't fully reach "Beyond The Crimson Horizon", but still a brilliant album!